Clark’s comment over at the George-Lucas-bashing thread has gotten me to thinking. Clark astutely notes the implausibility of Han Solo’s tough-guy persona based on some of the re-done encounters in Lucas’s digital re-release Star Wars (i.e. the Solo-shoots-last scene). Clark asks
What would Jack Bauer do? Probably grab Gweedo and start breaking fingers demanding where Jaba is.
Last night’s Alias episode had me asking this question as well. After a brief and aggressive restroom encounter with Sloan, Jack Bristow is rather easily convinced that a clone, and not Sloan, is responsible for the havoc in Sydney’s and Vaughn’s lives. I must admit that I rolled my eyes and thought, what would Jack Bauer do?
Jack Bristow, in earlier days, might not have backed down so easily. I remember well encounters between Jack Bristow and some unlucky reprobate that ended in a torturous death. Is Jack Bristow’s age and radiation poisoning softening him? It seems the days are over when one could plausibly ask, what would Jack Bristow do?
Whether you hold to Jack Bauer or Jack Bristow, you still ask, “WWJBD?”. But what has got me wondering is how would a direct confrontation between these two turn out? Jack Bauer has the advantage, perhaps, of being ten to twenty years younger and of being unshakeable in his dedication to homeland security. Jack Bristow, on the other hand, has the advantage of moral ambiguity on who are the good and bad guys, often siding with the bad guys himself, as when he was assistent director of SD-6. Would Jack Bristow muster some of his youthful craftiness in such a fight? Would Jack Bauer find it in him to break a few CIA fingers?